Sunday, November 23, 2008

Through The Days And Nights

I've come to learn that sometimes the best worship songs are disguised as mainstream music.


No One - Alicia Keys

I just want you close
Where you can stay forever
You can be sure
That it will only get better
You and me together
Through the days and nights (Psalm 7:10)
I don't worry 'cause
Everything is gonna be alright (Matthew 6:25)
People keep talking
They can say what they like
But all I know is everything is gonna be alright

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you (Matthew 4:10)

When the rain is pouring down
And my heart is hurting
You will always be around
This I know for certain (Psalm 6)

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry cause
Everything is gonna be alright (Psalm 118:6)
People keep talking
They can say what they like
But all I know is everything is gonna be alright

I know some people search the world
To find something like what we have (Ecclesiastes 7:29)
I know people will try
Try to divide
Something so real
So till the end of time (1 Corinthians 15:54)
I'm telling you there is no one

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you (Proverbs 4:23)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Once Was Lost, But Now I'm Found.

To step out of your comfort zone when you feel as though God has called you to something different takes a ton of trust and faith... in not only him, but in your own ability to know what his will is. There have been so many instances of this lately, and though they've been everything ranging from unusual to almost overwhelmingly intimidating, the Lord has again and again proven to be so completely faithful in leading me safely through and the outcome is better than anything I could have thought up or planned out myself.

So tonight, I had plans to hang out with a friend of mine in San Diego. The plan was to have a relaxed night at her house, which I was in the mood for, but when we talked this afternoon there was a possible change in plans that meant she would be coming up here instead, and we'd be going with some friends of hers I hadn't met, to a bar I haven't been to in a long time. I wanted to hang out with her and I didn't want to be a hassle, so I agreed, though it wasn't what I had hoped or planned for.

I came home from work and laid on my bed and thought up a slew of valid reasons why I wasn't going to go. Aside from my foul mood and lack of energy, I've made an intentional effort to step out of the drinking/bar scene recently, and I didn't feel the desire to be back there. But something in me told me I really needed to go, so I dragged myself off the bed and got ready. It didn't seem to make sense that God would call me to go out to a bar when he's called me to do very much the opposite. I didn't want to drink and wasn't in the mood to chat with new people, but cheered up when I met her friends and settled in. We had a nice conversation (and some delicious chicken strips) but honestly spent most of the time wondering why I had felt so strongly that I was called to be there. I started doubting my ability to "test and approve" what God's will is, and my own faith in myself.

It wasn't until we were paying our bill and getting ready to leave that whatever we were talking about reminded her friend (one who I had just met) of her roommate, and all the things she's struggling with and the mess she's in. Most of this girl's story could have been my own testimony. It hit me so hard to hear how broken she is, knowing exactly what that pain feels like. I knew I needed to do something, so when we walked to our cars I gave her my information and asked her to pass it on to her roommate.

I don't know if she'll give it to her or what her roommate's reaction will be, but I believe with all my heart that if there is anybody who can understand fully where she is and see her without condemnation, but with love and the knowledge that even the most broken heart can be put back together and the emptiest places can be filled, it's me. God doesn't waste anything, and he shows me constantly that even my most painful pieces have very important purposes.

See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.

In the same way
your Father in heaven

is not willing that any
of these
little ones
should be lost.


Matthew 18:10-14


I started crying as soon as I got in my car (if you know me, you know the significance of tears) and I prayed for this girl the whole way home, and my heart just continues to break for her. I don't know her name or what she's doing right now (she's out of town), but I have a clear idea of what to pray for.

I would appreciate immensely if you would help me pray for her - that God would invade and fill in every part of her life; that he would heal and soothe all of the emotional and physical scars, that he would be her wall of fire and protect her from those influences that make her feel worthless and empty and encourage her to self destruct; that he would meet her in a tangible way right where she is that she couldn't avoid or deny; that he would speak to her in her dreams; that he would surround her with positive, loving and encouraging influences, who would show her how loved and valuable she is; that she would have the courage to contact and meet with me; and that the Holy Spirit would give me the right words and be a guiding presence in our interaction.

There are many more. I could go on. I can't describe how heavily this is on my heart.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
Heavenly Father, you are so faithful in your promises and in your protection. I am so thankful for how you are continuously shaping me and giving me the courage to be obedient, even when I can't make sense of it or am overcome with fear and doubt. I know you don't give us more than we can handle, and I'm so thankful that you entrust me with so much. I am so grateful for this heart you've given me, and for the life you've led me through - each and every piece of it. You've gone before me Lord, and I trust you completely. Thank you for redeeming and renewing me the way you have and continue to. In Jesus' loving and forgiving name, Amen.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Entrusted.

The more I grow in my faith, the more of a sense of responsibility I feel for the people around me, and most recently my good friends. It makes me feel like a mama hen with chicks to nurture and love, and I am honored and inspired when they come to me with questions or wanting to learn with me. Wow! Whoever would have thought I would be here, today; November 10th, less than seven months after the day I met God for the first time.
Only a few months ago I was at a spot where I felt too self-conscious to talk openly about my relationship with him, always worrying what the other person would be thinking about me. As I learn how to "be bold in front of God" and put aside my uncertainties about being open and authentic, I am seeing how crucial that is. My friendships are deeper, our connections are more genuine, and God has been a powerful part of our conversations.
As I learn what it means to surrender (even down to my own doubts!) I watch him do miraculous things in the hearts of people I care about. How awesome is that!

Heavenly Father... Its only through you that I realize I have nothing to fear. Sometimes you lead me into situations I don't think I know how to handle but you're always faithful in getting me through them as I listen to you. Lord I pray that I would not lose sight of what you call me to do. I pray that you would not take your Holy Spirit from me, that you would continue to nudge me in the right directions, and that I would never give up listening. You know best, Father, even in those situations that seem scary and impossible, you prove to be right by my side with the best answer to all my questions. I couldn't possibly be more thankful for that, and for you, for the way you protect me and guide me. You've shown me so clearly in the past few days what an overwhelming freedom there is in surrendering to you, and what an incredible sense of joy there is at the end of even the darkest tunnels. Thank you Lord for loving me the way you do. Nothing in this world could ever compare. I pray that you would continue to stir up the hearts of those dear to me Lord, and that you would guide me in our conversations. I pray also that you would continue to strengthen me so that those around me could see the work you're doing in me. Lead me not into temptation, Lord, but deliver me from evil. Guard my heart Lord. I pray this all in your peaceful and powerful name, Amen.
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